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Judge allows Shanley to return to Provincetown
By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press, 12/13/02
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Rev. Paul R. Shanley, a key figure in the Boston Archdiocese's sex abuse scandal, was allowed to return to a Cape Cod resort community while awaiting trial despite complaints from residents that he posed a threat to children.
Middlesex Superior Court Judge Charles Grabau on Friday ordered Shanley, a retired priest charged with raping boys in the Boston suburb of Newton in the 1980s, to stay at least 50 yards from schools, day care centers and playgrounds.
Shanley, who has pleaded innocent, posted $300,000 bail on Wednesday and went to Provincetown. During Friday's hearing, prosecutor Lynn Rooney said many residents opposed Shanley's stay there.
Shanley, 71, had spent seven months in jail. He raised the bail through contributions from family, friends and supporters, said his attorney, Frank Mondano.
Other conditions of Shanley's release bar him from having contact with anyone under 16, with any of his alleged victims or witnesses in his case. He also must remain in Massachusetts.
Grabau said the conditions of Shanley's bail are so strict that if he walks out of his house and sees a mother and child on the sidewalk, he must turn around and walk back inside.
"He is to avoid, stay away from that situation," Grabau said.
Shanley was once known for his street ministry to gay and troubled youth. He became a focal point of the church abuse scandal after internal church records disclosed in lawsuits showed that officials did not remove him from parish work even after they received reports that he had publicly endorsed sex between men and boys, and had attended a meeting of the North American Man-Boy Love Association.
Some Provincetown residents have passed out small posters with Shanley's face on them. Carol Bishop, 60, said Thursday she was doing so to let children in Provincetown know what Shanley looks like, and avoid him.
"I don't think he should have gotten out of jail. No one will trust him," said Ernie Adams, 44.
Provincetown, an area 9.7-square miles at the tip of Cape Cod with a year-round population of about 3,500, is famous for its art colony and fishing village. It is also famous as a resort community that welcomes a large gay and lesbian population.